Mag Soar has presented the recent advances of Levisolator project on the Workshop on Optical Mechanisms held by ESA/ESTEC in Noordwijk, Netherlands.
Levisolator is a new technology development from MAG SOAR that will be potentially used as a cryostat vibration isolation and thermal disconnect system for the Focal Plane Array of the Athena Mission, an X-Ray telescoped designed to achieve 100 times more sensitiveness that the actual operating observation technologies. This Advanced Telescope for High-Energy Astrophysics is being designed in order to unravel some key mysteries: how does ordinary matter assemble into the large-scale structures we observe today or how do black holes grow and shape the Universe.
The Focal Plane Array, an image sensing device used in telescopes, is composed of an array of light-sensing pixels whose sensitiveness can get easily compromised by critical issues such as undesired vibrations or uncontrolled heat flux. For these reasons, it is strictly necessary to find an optimal isolation solution in order to maintain the instrument resolution.
Mag Soar engineers are developing a fully passive Superconducting Magnetic Suspension system able to fulfill the mission requirements: reduce the vibration levels, limit the heat flux without increasing significantly the overall system weight.